Goal Line Technology in Soccer

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A global audience of 3.2 billion people – about 46.4% of the world population – watched the World Cup tournament of 2010, according to FIFA, the world governing body of soccer. The final between Spain and The Netherlands alone had an audience of approximately 530 million. There is little debate about which sport is more played and watched more than any other. It unites and divides cities and countries. It sparks debate and controversy, which is discussed within families, with co-workers, and even between heads of state. At present, the most pressing issue facing the sport is whether to introduce goal line technology, computerized technology to definitely determine the scoring of a goal. This is not a new problem. According to the rules of the game, a goal should be awarded when the whole ball crosses the goal line. However, there have been many high profile cases when the officials have made the wrong decision and awarded a goal – or failed to award a goal. In such a low scoring game as soccer, where teams typically score one to two goals per game, it can mean the difference between winning and losing a game. During an important tournament, it can mean winning or losing the biggest prize of them all: the World Cup. For example, in the 1966 World Cup final between a very closely matched England and West Germany sides, the game went into thirty minutes of extra time with the scores level after the normal ninety minute period. Then Alan Ball crossed the ball to England’s main striker, Geoff Hurst, who controlled and ball and shot towards the goal. The ball beat the German goalkeeper and crashed on the underside of the bar, sending it crashing down towards the goal line. Tofik Bakhramov, the watching Russian linesman (actually a common misconception, as he was actually from the then Soviet state of Azerbaijan) indicated to the referee it was a goal, believing that the whole ball had crossed the white line. The goal was given and it changed the match. England went on...
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